Hugo Lloris, 144 selections
First selection: November 19, 2008 (Uruguay, 0-0).
In a largely overhauled eleven, Hugo Lloris relaunched his adventure with the Blues in 2008. Then Steve Mandanda’s understudy, the Niçois was nervous at the idea of a battle for the position of number one, left vacant by Grégory Coupet after the Euro . But this one runs short. After seven matches, Raymond Domenech judges that the former Marseillais is not decisive enough and inducts Lloris into the cages. Since then, the former Lyonnais obtained the captain’s armband in 2010, won the World Cup and became the most capped player in the history of the Blues.
Hugo Lloris has not let go of his number one position since 2009. (N. Luttiau / L’Équipe)
Theo Hernandez, 12 caps
First selection: September 7, 2021 (Finland, 2-0)
Author of a very good start to the season at AC Milan, Theo Hernandez is called up for the first time in 2021, when the Blues go to five defenders. Left piston in club, he fits perfectly into the new 3-5-2, especially in the final phase of the League of Nations with a goal in the semi-final against Belgium (3-2) and an assist in the final against Spain (2-1). If the return to a 4-man defense for the World Cup had ejected him from the starting lineup, he had to quickly replace his seriously injured brother Lucas. Solid defensively, he reassured the staff, while keeping his big offensive activity, rewarded with a goal and two assists since the start of the tournament.
The typical team of the Blues at the World Cup in Qatar and the date of their first selection.
Dayot Upamecano, 11 selections
First selection: September 5, 2020 (Sweden, 1-0)
Called up in 2020, while playing in Leipzig, Dayot Upamecano took a long time to establish himself. After three meetings where he appeared very feverish, he was not called up for a year and missed the Euro. Recalled just after the competition, he still does not reassure and no longer appears in the lists until September 2022. It is to the detriment of Presnel Kimpembe, injured, that the Bavarian settles in the left axis of the hinge from the opening of the World Cup. And shines there, whether by his sharp interventions or his ease with the ball in the recovery.
Solid, Dayot Upamecano mastered Robert Lewandowski against Poland. (F. Faugère/The Team)
Raphaël Varane, 92 selections
First selection: March 22, 2013 (Georgia, 3-1)
In 2013, Raphaël Varane made his debut with the Blues. The Madrilenian then only takes a short time to establish himself in the French hinge and with his hatching, Didier Deschamps finally has a central defender of the world level. Above all, the coach sees the former Lensois as a born leader, and appoints him, at 21, vice-captain. Forfeited at Euro 2016 because of a recalcitrant thigh, he was crowned world champion in 2018 after a remarkable tournament with a goal against Uruguay in the quarter-finals (2-0). Hit in the right thigh in mid-October, he long thought he would miss the World Cup in Qatar and could not play the first match against Australia (4-1). But from the meeting against Denmark (2-1), the vice-captain kept his sound, all in sobriety.
Jules Koundé, 17 selections
First selection: June 23, 2021 (Portugal, 2-2)
Summoned for the first time during Euro 2021, Jules Koundé has had a mixed start. Holder against Portugal (2-2) to blow Benjamin Pavard, he does not seem comfortable in the right lane entrusted to him by Didier Deschamps. If he makes sure not to have “never played backwards”, the Barcelonnais takes time to take his marks on the side of the defense. He especially benefits from the poor performance of Pavard at the opening of the World Cup against Australia (4-1) to secure a starting place. And if his offensive contribution remains meager, Koundé has shown since the start of the competition a serenity that we did not know him in the blue jersey.
Jules Koundé took his ease on the right side. (N. Luttiau/The Team)
Aurélien Tchouaméni, 20 caps
First selection: September 1, 2021 (Bosnia, 1-1)
Called after Euro 2021, Aurélien Tchouaméni almost immediately gains the confidence of his coach. Just named Ligue 1’s best hope, the former Monegasque replaced N’Golo Kanté at the time, affected by recurring injuries. From her first cape, the Madrilenian convinces and becomes irremovable. As proof, he has participated in 19 of the last 20 matches played by the France team, including 15 as a starter. The Real Madrid player is also the only one of the 25 French people to have been aligned from the start for all the meetings of the Qatari world.
Aurélien Tchouameni has made himself indispensable in the midfield. (F. Faugère/The Team)
Adrien Rabiot, 34 caps
First selection: September 15, 2016 (Ivory Coast, 0-0)
The idyll took a long time to start between Adrien Rabiot and the France team. Rewarded for his rise to power at PSG in 2016, the titi stands out above all two years later, when he refuses to be a reserve during the 2018 World Cup. A decision which keeps him out of the selection until September 2020, a period when he bounced back well and quickly won. Numerically replacing Paul Pogba, frequently injured, Rabiot is illustrated by his volume of play and seduces the French staff. He has taken a new step in recent months at Juventus in Italy and has made himself indispensable to the Blues, through his activity in the midfield and his ability to close the left side.
Antoine Griezmann, 116 caps
First cap: 5 May 2014 (Netherlands, 2-0)
Antoine Griezmann is perhaps the first name that Didier Deschamps puts on the scoresheet. While chaining goals at Real Sociedad, the native of Mâcon began his adventure in blue in 2014 and quickly became the technical leader of the new generation. Despite his delicate passage at Barça between 2019 and 2020, Grizou continues to be called up by Didier Deschamps. And since June 2017, he has not missed a match, participating in the last 71 meetings played by the Blues, a record. Converted into a midfielder in Qatar, the Atlético de Madrid player shines with his generosity and his omnipresence on both sides of the field, while keeping his elegance and accuracy with the ball.
Repositioned in the midfield, Griezmann shines with his generosity and his efforts. (F. Faugère/The Team)
Kylian Mbappé, 65 caps
First selection: March 25, 2017 (Luxembourg, 3-1)
At 18 years, 3 months and 5 days, Kylian Mbappé, became in 2017 the second youngest player in the history of the France team since the post-war period. Rewarded for his excellent season in Monaco, where he ended up champion, the Bondynois impressed and quickly acquired a starting place. After the 2018 world title, where he broke early records, his love affair with the Blues was thwarted at Euro 2021. The Parisian missed his penalty against Switzerland in the round of 16 (3-3, 4 -5 on the tab), receives thousands of racist insults and thinks of stopping the selection. He will come back quickly and will take a new step by becoming one of the star players of the World Cup with already 5 goals.
Kylian Mbappé has already scored five goals and reached a new milestone in this World Cup. (N. Luttiau/The Team)
Olivier Giroud, 119 caps
First cap: 11 November 2011 (USA, 1-0)
Selected in 2011 when he exploded in Montpellier, Olivier Giroud did not settle permanently on the front of the French attack until 2015. Taking advantage of the extra-sporting setbacks of Karim Benzema, the former Arsenal player became indestructible despite average club performances. World champion without scoring in 2018, he does not escape criticism from supporters. He is not even selected after the Euro, where his tensions with Kylian Mbappé damage the atmosphere of the group. But his return to grace at AC Milan forces Deschamps to call him back in 2022. And since Benzema’s package, Giroud has become the top scorer in the history of the Blues with 53 goals, including four in Qatar.
Ousmane Dembélé, 34 selections
First cap: September 1, 2016 (Italy, 3-1)
Called to compensate for Nabil Fekir’s package, Ousmane Dembélé was only 19 when he was first selected. If his inconstancy prevents him from becoming an indisputable holder, he still starts the first match of the 2018 World Cup. The former Rennais then loses his place, in favor of Blaise Matuidi who brings more balance. Held back by injuries and playing time at half mast at Barça, the winger was no longer called up between November 2018 and March 2021. But Deschamps gave him his chance and aligned him as soon as the Blues entered the running in Qatar. A place of holder that he assumes this time, ensuring a high level defensive work while keeping his ability to strike.
If he has not yet scored in Qatar, Ousmane Dembélé shines with his seriousness. (N. Luttiau/The Team)